Optimum Nutrition is one of the most popular and well regarded supplement manufacturers out there. The company is best known for the hugely successful Gold Standard 100% Whey, which is the number one protein supplement in the world, but this company is far from being a one trick pony. 100% Whey is one in a large range which includes a number of proteins, including two mass gainers, Pro Complex Gainer and Serious Mass. Why would a company release two products in the same category, and which one is better? Let's take a look.
Pro Complex Gainer vs Serious Mass Ingredients
Although both mass gainers are based on protein and simple carbohydrates with a blend of vitamins and minerals, These are very different supplements.
Pro Complex Gainer is a lean gainer, which means that the proportions of protein and carbohydrate are about equal. In this case, each 165g serving contains 85g of carbohydrate, in the form of maltodextrin, to 60g of blended protein. This blend is quite comprehensive, and includes muscle building glutamine peptides alongside fast absorbing hydrolysed whey and whey isolate. The blend is rounded out with some slower absorbing proteins like egg albumen and sodium caseinate. The formula also contains a blend of healthy lipids, a vitamin and mineral blend, and added digestive enzymes.
Serious Mass is a hardgainer formula and lies at the other end of the spectrum. Each enormous 334g serve contains 50g of protein and 250g carbs. Despite this massive difference in protein to carb ratio, the formula is remarkably similar, with a maltodextrin base and a protein blend, which in this case, lacks some of the faster acting fractions, and whey concentrate sits alongside egg albumen and calcium caseinate. This formula is lower in fat than Pro Complex Gainer and lacks digestive enzymes, but contains small amounts of muscle building aminos like creatine and glutamine, which many people would consider to be underdosed.
- Winner: Pro Complex Gainer. Both of these products are very well suited to purpose, and it is hard to say that one of these products is better than another. On the basis of a more extensive protein blend and the inclusion of digestive enzymes, Pro Complex Gainer has the better ingredients, but this will not mean a lot to hardgainers who need the nutrition present in Serious Mass to gain weight.
Pro Complex Gainer vs Serious Mass Dosage
Both products are very well dosed and suit the purpose for which they were developed. The serving sizes of both of these products are very large, Pro Complex Gainer coming in at 165g and Serious Mass recommending a whopping 334g. It is difficult to avoid large serving sizes in a well formulated mass gainer, and while these large sizes can be quite filling, you can easily break the dose up intwo 2-4 serves to be had throughout the day rather than one large hit. This will make it easier to also consume a higher calorie diet overall to help you gain size.
- Winner: Pro Complex Gainer, due to the smaller serving size. This is not at all a reflection of the quality of the product, as both are exceptionally well suited to their individual purposes.
Pro Complex Gainer vs Serious Mass Effectiveness
This is another apples and oranges comparison. With similar amounts of protein and carbohydrate, Pro Complex Gainer is perfect for people with slower metabolisms who want to gain muscle, but not fat. This is a favourite of the slightly older crowd and those who are prone to carrying a bit of extra weight. On the other hand, there is no way anyone using Serious Mass according to the directions will fail to put on weight. This is a super high energy product designed for people who cannot gain weight. Many people with fast metabolisms, particularly younger men, have trouble obtaining enough energy from their diets to maintain weight and body fat, let alone putting on extra muscle. For these people, a product like Pro Complex Gainer would not provide sufficient energy, and vice versa – someone with a slower metabolism who used Serious Mass as directed would put extra weight as fat.
- Winner: Serious Mass. Once again, both products are excellent, and well tailored to their target market. Serious mass wins this one because the large serving size and huge carb to protein ratio mean it is impossible not to gain weight while using this supplement as directed.
Pro Complex Gainer vs Serious Mass Taste & Mixability
High in Carbs, mass gainers are probably the best tasting types of protein shake, and both of these offerings are delicious. Both proteins come in a range of classic dairy flavours which are well receieved. The large serving sizes of these proteins make mixability an issue. Pro Complex gainer recommends 165g of protein to 453mL of liquid, which is slightly too much for a standard 600mL shaker. It is a lot easier to make this in two parts, although a serving is a single scoop and it can be difficult to estimate what half a serving is. Mixing Serious Mass is a big deal, and 334g of protein in 709g of water almost doubles the quantities of Pro Complex gainer, although a half serve will fit in a 600mL shaker.
- Winner: Pro Complex Gainer. This was close, because both proteins taste great, yet suffer from being a pain to mix in the prescribed quantities. With the largest serving size, Serious Mass requires the most effort.
Pro Complex Gainer vs Serious Mass Price & Value
There are a number of ways to measure the value of these products. In terms of cost per serving Serious Mass is the more expensive of the two, with each 334g serve costing $6.13 to Pro Complex Gainer's $4.87. The serving size of Pro Complex Gainer is, however, half the size of Serious Mass, so on a gram by gram basis, Serious Mass is the cheapest. This is expected, as carbohydrate is a much less expensive ingredient than protein. Given the relative ratios of each ingredient, Serious Mass might be expected to be a little bit cheaper.
- Winner: Pro Complex Gainer. There are many aspects that are difficult to compare between these two different proteins, and value is one of these, but we think Serious Mass is a little expensive given the large amounts of maltodextrin used. Optimum Nutrition is not the cheapest brand on the market, but people are willing to pay a premium for their products because they are tried and tested and known to work, which is the ultimate test of value.
Pro Complex Gainer vs Serious Mass Overall Verdict
It is impossible to say that one of these proteins is better than the other, because they are both great at what they do. Pro Complex Gainer is an excellent product for people with slower metabolisms who want to minimise fat gain, and Serious Mass is one of the best super hardgainer formulas on the market. The key to choosing the best mass gainer is to choose the one that best complements your own goals and requirements.
- Overall Winner: Tie